Osram developing iris recognition app
09 June 2017 13:36 GMT

Lighting company Osram is pouring significant resources into developing iris-based solutions for smartphones.

A report in Bloomberg Technology states that Chief Executive Officer Olaf Berlien believes iris recognition is taking off, and within five years “every single mobile phone” will have one as will other devices like cash machines.

“The trend is there,” said Aldo Kamper, head of Osram’s expanding Opto Semiconductor division that makes the scanners, told the newspaper. "The importance of phone security will grow as devices are increasingly used to make payments for all kinds of goods and services, he said in an interview.

The magazine notes that Opto has the highest earnings before interest, taxes and amortization of Osram’s three divisions and twice the R&D budget. This is partly because of Osram’s decision -- attacked by Siemens -- to spend about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) on a Malaysian plant to make semiconductors for light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, the energy-efficient form of lighting overtaking classic incandescent bulbs. The division also makes lights and sensors that are used in devices from self-driving cars to smartwatch heart-rate monitors.

However, critics, including Barclays analyst David Vos, say prospects for iris scanners may be overdone.